Pregnancy can be a joyful time for many expectant parents. However, when that pregnancy also results in mistreatment or harassment in the workplace, pregnancy discrimination can turn this exciting period of parents’ lives into a stressful experience. What should expectant parents know about pregnancy discrimination?
Did an employer refuse to hire or promote you because of a pregnancy?
While an interviewer’s question about whether you are pregnant or whether you want to have children in the future may seem innocuous, it could lead to discrimination in the hiring process. Making hiring decisions based on an employee’s pregnancy or even their potential to become pregnant in the future is forbidden by law.
Has your employer denied workplace accommodations?
Pregnant people may need to take additional steps to protect their health and the health of their children during pregnancy. They may need to take extra breaks, sit or stand to relieve physical strain or drink water in a workplace that might otherwise forbid water bottles at workstations. The law requires employers to provide employees with reasonable accommodations in the workplace, including modifications to their daily tasks.
Has your employer refused to provide you with medical leave?
The birth of a child has a significant impact on a mother’s health, and legally mandated family leave can be necessary for the health of the parents and child. Despite regulations and the benefits to their employees’ health, some employers may illegally attempt to deny medical leave.
Has your employer refused to cover pregnancy-related care for your spouse?
Pregnancy discrimination can even impact the spouses of employees when a company does not directly employ them. Refusing to cover pregnancy-related care when the company provides employees’ husbands with comprehensive health insurance is a form of discrimination.
Reporting pregnancy discrimination is an important way for employees to protect their rights and the rights of others in their workplace. If you have experienced pregnancy discrimination, consider speaking with an attorney to explore your legal options and take steps to protect your health and career.